Baaghi 2: A Dull & Strenuous Stunt Show
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Ahmed Khan, a choreographer turned filmmaker, Baaghi 2 is a remake of the Telugu film Kshanam. Just as expected, the film hardly pays attention to its plot. Instead, it sets out to focus on Tiger Shroff and his washboard abs, that are often put to test through mind-numbingly long action sequences. As if this isn’t mindless enough, the film hits an all new low by using the ‘human shield’ incident in Kashmir just as a distasteful hero introduction scene.
Ranveer Pratap Singh (Tiger Shroff) alias Ronny is an army officer who suddenly receives a phone call from his ex-girlfriend Neha (Disha Patani), who pleads with him to help her find her missing daughter. Ronny rushes to Goa and just as he begins to investigate the kidnapping, the truth becomes blurry. He questions the existence of Neha’s daughter. From here on, the story follows the officer’s efforts to unravel a conspiracy that demands the weight of his muscles more than the strength of his brain.
In comparison to the action template films that Tiger Shroff is usually a part of, Baaghi 2 is a tiny improvement. At least this film has the presence of a decent. But the film’s approach to this plot is shoddy, careless and ridden with clichés.
For one, it takes Kshanam’s seriously thrilling story involving an invest banker and turns the said banker into an army officer just so that the screenplay can reek of action. But the film is sub-par even at staging these action sequences. The stunts lack imagination, and the climax stunt sequence in particular runs for over fifteen torturous minutes.
Every now and then, the hero takes off his shirt and wages wars against the villain just to show-off his physique. To make matter all the more dull, none of his contenders in these sequences are even slightly challenging. They hardly throw punches at Ronny. Even the guns they carry conveniently miss its target all the time. By using non-threatening villains for the sole purpose of building up the hero’s machismo, the film’s scripting team resorts to lazy writing.
Secondly, Baaghi 2’s narrative is stuffed with jarring songs and loud dance numbers. These misplaced songs take the attention away from the plot. The ‘Ek Do Teen’ remix in particular is outrageous. As time goes on, you start to wonder if the director and lead actor came up with a list of all the things they’re good at and decided to forcefully incorporate those unrelated elements in this film.
Keeping in line with the misogynistic traditions of a typical Bollywood ‘masala’ film, Baaghi 2 introduces us to a dim-witted Neha, who tells the hero that she hates stalking, only to giggle the moment after. Writing a female character whose sensible statements are just for show is equal to writing a misogynistic character, isn’t it? Why does Neha have to act like she detests stalkers and then go on to secretly admire such repulsive behavior? Hopefully, by the time Baaghi 9 or 10 makes its way on to the silver screens, this stereotypical perception too will change.
Even if you manage to look past the plethora of flaws Baaghi 2 throws your way, it is impossible to ignore the careless manner in which it uses the ‘Human Shield’ incident in Kashmir. In the film’s hero introduction shot, you see Ronny tying a man to his jeep in Kashmir, using him as a human shield to get past communal violence. This scene is in no way connected to the rest of the plot. The very fact that the director saw it fit to showcase a devastating and inhumane real incident just to pander the ego of his hero demonstrates his irresponsibility. When will filmmakers stop milking such sensitive incidents just to add glory to their masochistic characters?
Apart from Randeep Hooda’s portrayal of the eccentric ACP LSD, none of the actors in the film deliver memorable performances. Tiger is especially inefficient in scenes that demand a high emotional quotient. Even good performers like Manoj Bajpayee merely ham their way through the rest of the film
The technical aspects of the film including music and cinematography are completely sub-standard.
If putting on a long stunt show is what Baaghi 2 set out to achieve, why pretend to have a story? On the whole, this film is a propaganda of the hero-worship that Bollywood would be better off without. If you’re tired of mindless action and mind-numbing dance numbers, stay far, far away from this one.